"There is no doubt but that, we have at this point, gone through the worst, and as long as we act prudently going forward the worst should be over," Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared during his Sunday press briefing.
Governor Cuomo announced that on May 15, a few businesses in specific regions in upstate New York will most likely be allowed to open with certain caveats.
Cuomo laid out a plan Sunday that would allow businesses to reopen in phases as long as there is a consistent decline in numbers for 14 days leading up to the date.
Phase one, will allow some construction and manufacturing companies to reopen in areas like Central New York, the North Country, and the Mohwak Valley in the middle of May.
"Those regions have seen lower numbers since day one," Cuomo said.
These businesses will need to submit a plan to the state that will outline how they will protect their employees by providing personal protective equipment, limit capacity, clean their businesses, and even provide tests for or screen people coming in.
"These are things businesses can think about if they want to reopen quickly," he said.
At the same time, Cuomo says the state will be ramping up antibody and diagnostic testing to monitor how or if the infection rate increases during this phase one reopening.
The state will then wait two weeks, and if numbers continue to decline, then the region will be allowed to move on to phase two.
Phase two will allow businesses to reopen that can prove that they are essential and maintain a lower risk of spreading the coronavirus.
"The way a business opens can determine its risk. We need them to be creative and think outside the box,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo used examples of sports games without audiences and drive in movie theaters.
Schools will most likely reopen at the end of phase two, Cuomo said. He explained that in order for businesses to reopen at a higher scale, then school will also have to reopen so children are not home alone while their parents work. He also said many schools are looking at the possibility of summer school.
But what is the caveat in all of this? Cuomo says the state needs to make sure nothing is reopened that will attract large groups of people to one area, creating a surge in cases that could threaten the healthcare system.
"You can't do anything in any region that would increase the number of visitors to that region," he said.
Right now the infection rate is at about .8 for the state and .9 for upstate. Cuomo says that when the infection rate rises to 1.2, then the hospital system becomes overwhelmed. He stressed the importance of monitoring each phase through testing, to make sure the infection rate does not rise.
"The numbers are on decline," he said.
Once again the state saw a decline in the number of people hospitalized and intubated.
The number of people who passed away from the coronavirus in New York in the past 24 hours was still high at 367 people. There were 437 people the day before who died. The total number of coronavirus cases is now at 288,045.